In the course of your relationships, you’ve likely experienced things that have felt uncomfortable, challenging, or difficult. You’ve probably brought some of these things up at various points, probably with varying degrees of success. If so, I have some good news for you: you can improve your ability to clear things up more effectively. I’m here to share with you the best approach I’ve found.

Many people share honesty as a human value, and most of us recognize the difference between honesty and revealing absolutely everything. Yet people differ along a continuum regarding how we choose to bring up difficult…


Practical steps for repair and reconciliation

Most of us can sense a breakdown in a relationship. This typically happens when we’ve broken an agreement or when we’ve compromised a value we hold. Sometimes when we intuit repair is necessary, we attempt to make things right. This happens when we apologize or seek forgiveness. It happens when we seek a remedy for having been slighted.

The DEAR process is the keystone for restoring relational integrity in Authentic Relating. It’s like an upgraded approach for situations where you’d offer an apology or seek a remedy. There are four steps — Declare, Explore, Amends, and Recommit or Renegotiate. …


A Foundation of our Social World

A simple, yet surprisingly profound experience two or more people can share in relationship with each other is shared reality. Weaving shared reality is the process of communicating so we are getting on the same page with another person, creating mutual understanding.

There is your reality, what you experience as true. This includes your perceptions, your thoughts, your feelings, your perspectives, your beliefs, your hunches, and so on. And there’s also their reality, what they experience as true — including their perspectives, beliefs, perceptions, hunches, and so forth.

Shared reality is where we discover an overlap between the two. Weaving…


This year, 2019, I’ve had the privilege of launching a new enterprise with my co-founders, Jess Nichol and Josh Zemel. We met years ago as fellow faculty at the Integral Center, a training and development organization. We’ve come together as Bedrock Culture and Leadership, bringing years of expertise in human relations and social systems to organizations.

We believe that how we work together is just as important as what we choose to work on.

We apply this principle to ourselves just as we bring this to our clients.

I’ve also come to believe a better world is possible through improving…


Two Complementary Approaches to the New World of Work

During my years as an engineer with Hewlett-Packard, I had the privilege of working with many talented and hard-working individuals. On good days, I put forth my best in the service of large project teams with enthusiasm. On bad days, I could experience a sense of imposter syndrome wondering if I really deserved to be working alongside such brilliant technical contributors.

Yet in the background throughout, I felt a nagging sense that something wasn’t quite right. I think deep down I felt constrained by my professional persona like I couldn’t fully be myself. …


If you want to build something big, first, go deep. In every big city, each high-rise building attaches to the bedrock of the earth, far below the ground surface.

Years ago, during the dot-com boom of the late ’90s, I commuted each workday to San Francisco’s SoMa district on the N-Judah line. Day after day, I would peek through the window to watch the crew laying the foundation for the new Gap Inc. headquarters building. During one construction period in particular, I watched as huge drilling rigs bored through layers of topsoil. …


Welcome to the Relational Dimension of Leadership

Good leaders bring whatever is required to move a situation forward, whether it’s inspiring others with a vision, challenging the status quo, or taking a bold risk. The best leaders also bring awareness and care to the quality of their relationships. This requires a variety of skills and ways of being sometimes known as relational leadership.

Relational leadership puts the quality of relationships on an equal footing with all other practical outcomes. I believe that how we do something together matters as much as what we are doing. When we collaborate in ways that are mutual, voluntary, and connected, we…


The Foundation of Relational Intelligence

What comes to mind when you think of mindfulness?

Meditation? Conscientiousness? Relaxation? Focus? Calm?

Chances are, whatever you’re thinking of carries a sense of individual introspection.

Before I learned to practice relational mindfulness, people and relationships would disturb any state of calm, relaxed focus I would sometimes achieve from meditation.

When interacting with others, it sometimes feels like we open up a to a deluge of involuntary stimuli. People want things. They ask for things. They express opinions. Sometimes they disagree. Sometimes we experience overwhelm or anxiety in social situations. …


Communicate Responsibly for Connection and Potency

Do you find yourself wishing that people would understand and respect your opinions more than they seem to? Do you compare yourself negatively to others who seem to have an uncanny ability to influence others? Are you dissatisfied with your ability to take conversations deeper, to a place where people really open up and trust you? Do you hold back, trying to avoid conflict and “be nice”? Or, to tend to plunge headlong into conflict, “keeping it real,” only to find these conflicts become worse than how they began?

If any of this sounds familiar, I’ve got a communication power…


How our interpretations of villainy reveal something about ourselves

I love when my favorite entertainment also gets me to think. Like great literature, poetry, and mythology, great entertainment is like a supersaturated solution full of potential meanings. It absorbs, integrates, and reflects back humanity’s deepest longings, fears, and ideas.

If you’re like me, the past nine years of Game of Thrones has been a rich experience of watching, rewatching, discussing, considering, and debating all manner of perspectives generated by “watching buddies” and the cottage industry of GoT Fandom across the interwebs.

Here I’ll be zooming way in for a close-up on one of the most pivotal moments in the…

Michael Porcelli

Facilitator, coach, speaker, writer on social technology — Authentic Relating, decentralization, Holacracy, Teal Organization https://www.themichaelporcelli.com

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